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'Homebake' heroin lab discovered in Auckland

  1. aemetha
    Police have discovered a suspected "homebake" heroin lab following an armed raid of an Auckland house.

    The lab was discovered in a Housing New Zealand property in Onehunga during an early morning police operation on July 28. Police had been monitoring the house following an anonymous tip-off and had initially believed the occupants may have been selling methamphetamine. But a search of the property uncovered hundreds of used and full syringes, and a homebake kit allegedly used to manufacture heroin.

    Around half a dozen full syringes are believed to contain heroin, police say. Further tests are being carried out. A "large amount of cannabis" was also found on the property.

    Constable Don Allan says the find was a surprise for the Onehunga Policing Team. "We've never ever comes across heroin manufacturing at all." Police say a male and female were arrested at the address. Allan says police suspect the tenant of the property had been subletting the house to the occupants.

    A Housing New Zealand spokeswoman says subletting a state house to other people is considered a serious breach of the Tenancy Agreement.

    The police descended onto the property at about 5am on July 28. The Armed Offender Squad was first to enter the house before the specialist clan lab team tested the address for potential contamination. The team was unable to find any evidence of contamination from methamphetamine and released the property to police who carried out a search.

    Allan says the house was covered with used and full syringes. "They were in the freezer, on the table, in the bed and all over the bedside table." He says staff from the forensics team identified some of the equipment as a homebake kit used for manufacturing heroin. Police are unsure if the occupants of the property were supplying drugs. "There was no cash on the property that would help identify if they were dealing," Allan says.

    Heroin is classified as a Class A drug in New Zealand and can attract a maximum of life imprisonment for importing, manufacturing and/or supplying. Possession carries a potential six-month prison term and/or a $1000 fine.



  1. aemetha
    As noted by the constable interviewed for this article, a heroin lab is extremely unusual here in New Zealand. It is very difficult to get raw opium in New Zealand being an Island nation with no land routes, and having a small population which makes it less attractive as a profitable destinations for smugglers. Because of this homebake heroin which is created from codeine is much more prevalent, but even this is rare. Most opiate abuse here is from medications, stolen or diverted from legal prescriptions. Methamphetamine and Cannabis are much more prevalent.
  2. Hardstepa
    Does anyone know what the yield of homebake heroin is?? Say someone had a load of pure codeine tablets and washed out the fillers of maybe 3000mg codeine. There is a good recipe and method on Erowid which is reasonably easy to do. He says that he thinks codeine will convert to 10% morphine so 300mg morphine which would perhaps go into 200mg heroin.

    Would these figures be accurate??

    Has anyone else ever done this?? He has access to opiates when he needs them so it isn't out of necessity but he wants to try this and see how good the end product is. 200mg isn't a big amount but if it's pure then that would make it worthwhile.

    He says that this is for personal use only.
  3. Cwb20022
    did they actually find any confirmed heroin? Or any confirmed opiate?

    It almost comes off like there assuming there were syringes around it has to be heroin. Besides this qoute." He says staff from the forensics team identified some of the equipment as a homebake kit used for manufacturing heroin." it seems at this point this is al speculation. Im interested in seeing what comes back after being tested. If you see any more info I'd be interested to hear it.
  4. Hardstepa
    From what I have read elsewhere there used to be a lot of homebake heroin in New Zealand in the 80s. The thing is though that the police in that article were making out that it was a major bust but anyone doing this is likely to be doing it for personal use. With the article saying there was syringes everywhere that just shows it would have been an addict.

    This method can be done from morphine as well. With codeine you have to convert it into morphine first then into heroin but it would be quicker and easier with morphine.
  5. Docta
    The O-demethylation of codeine in this fashion results in a variety of products, one of them being heroin.

    300mg codeine may give 23-30mg ish heroin at the most but by the time the heroin extracted from the trash it would be more like 15mg.

    I'm skeptical of the claims in this article.

    Ref: J. Am. Chem. Soc., 73 (1951) 5485.
  6. foremoreaddict
    Do you mean morphine Docta otherwise you just said the same thing as Hardstepa. What claims make you skeptical?
  7. Docta
    Right you are I've misread some of the statement and I didn't explain that very well. I'll edit that to fix my mistake. As for the story assuming homebake just because they "identified some of the equipment" is just silly without a myriad of forensic testing. The equipment and chemicals used in homebake can be used for a ton of things.
  8. foremoreaddict
    Not that I trust much "news" but I don't think it would be hard to work out. I would first look for the heroin precurser acetic anhydride and then for opium/morphine.
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